Adding a DFS Network Location (Shared Folder) to your Desktop

Some on-campus systems distribute files through shared folders that are stored on our on-campus Windows file servers. You can access these folders from your on-campus desktop computer, but you need to create a link from your desktop computer to the network server.  This is an easy process but you will need:

Your computer needs to be connected with an on-campus wired network, or connected through the uwinsecure wireless network.

Windows PC

Creating a shortcut to the network share is the easiest way. This will let you click on the shortcut and access the shared files.

(1) Open the File Explorer application from the task bar (icon), or press the Start button (lower left corner) and start typing file explorer and click on the icon.

File Explorer will initially show you your frequent folders.

(2) Click on This PC in the left sidebar.

(3) Choose the Computer tab

(4) Press the Add a Network Location icon in the ribbon.

This will start a wizard where you can choose a custom network location.

(4) Enter the network address of the shared folder – starting with the double backslash. You will be prompted to give the link a name that is meaningful to you. Step through the wizard and check the box that lets you connect the share.

The shortcut will appear under “This PC”. Click on the shortcut name (that you specified in the wizard) to view the files in the shared folder.

(5) You can right-click on the share name if you want to copy it to the desktop or pin it to your start menu or copy it to a library for quick access.

Username Prompt

If you are prompted for a username or password, enter your username in one of the following formats:


use your UWin Account username and password.


On an Apple Mac computer, you can connect to the network location through the Finder app. 
Open the Finder app and then select “Connect to Server” from the Go pull-down menu.


Enter the server address as shown below.  Note that you need to add smb:// to the start of the name, and use slashes instead of backslashes like you would with Windows.

Press the Connect button. 

To avoid having to reconnect in the future, drag the folder from the main area in Finder to your favourites area, as shown below with the Managers folder.

Security Note

Access to these network locations is restricted to on-campus wired office connections or the uwinsecure network. 

You cannot connect to these locations from the eduroam wireless network or from off-campus locations unless you connect through the campus VPN.


Article ID: 65937
Wed 10/24/18 11:40 AM
Thu 8/3/23 3:19 PM